Germany’s move to legalize cannabis slows over fears of clash with EU laws

Legal hurdles are slowing down German plans to allow the controlled distribution of cannabis among adults, with fears that a badly crafted law to legalize the drug could be thrown out by the European court of justice.

In a coalition agreement signed last November, the three-party government led by the chancellor, Olaf Scholz, stated its intention to make it legal to sell cannabis to adults for adult-use purposes.

The pledge has been reiterated by the Green party and the liberal Free Democratic party in particular, with the justice minister, Marco Buschmann, expressing optimism in May that a law could be passed by next spring and “the first legal joint” sold in Germany in 2023.

Since then, however, the government has become noticeably quieter on promises of a draft law in the autumn. On Monday, a legal analysis by the German parliament’s research service leaked to the news portal RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland warned that a move to legalize cannabis would contravene European regulations in more ways than one.

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